ASEAN’S Hopes For Visa-Free Travel to EU May Become A Reality

ASEAN’S Hopes For Visa-Free Travel to EU May Become A Reality

Visa applications can be troublesome and very expensive. Well, ASEAN travellers to Europe might be able to ditch this whole process soon!

Tourism is a fast growing sector in Asia, especially in the South East. South East Asia contributes to the bulk of outbound tourism internationally. This comes with increasing number of people acquiring disposable income and low-budget flights reaching destinations previously not gone before, thus making it seem like visiting another country just another bus ride away.

In the case of most of European travellers, coming in to the ASEAN region is a smooth ride since they are granted visa-free access to all the ASEAN countries. This move promotes the region as one whole tourist spot, rather than 10 different countries. ASEAN is now calling for EU to reciprocate and relieve ASEAN tourists the trouble of obtaining visa for every EU nation they are visiting.

Many nations outside of ASEAN, such as Japan, have loosened their visa regulations, allowing for an influx of tourists, especially from the ASEAN region, into their country. By EU making the move to relax their visa restrictions for the ASEAN population,  not only does the population experience an easier ride to Europe but European countries will also enjoy more tourism revenue from ASEAN tourists.

The Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA) and the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) have taken it upon themselves to discuss this issue during the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018 in Chiang Mai this week. FATA will be writing to the EU to negotiate the visa terms, along with other tourism talks. ASEANTA aims to work with airlines, like Air Asia, and national tourism organisations on promoting niche areas in tourism, such as Muslim tourism (which is a growing sector). ASEANTA will also be deliberating with ASEAN Hotels and Restaurant Association on boosting the availability and preparation of Halal food for the Muslim tourists.

Tourism makes up a large percentage of countries’ economy and the need to increasingly promote it is growing, as more and more people are willing to travel. If EU were to lay off their visa requirement for ASEAN tourists, it could mean more travelling opportunities for ASEAN nationals and better political ties between ASEAN and EU.

About Author

Begum Khalida
Begum Khalida

A curious yet quirky oddball who believes that she is the spirit animal of Matthew Gray Gubler. Apart from having a part-time job of having to correct the pronunciation of her name, Khalida is a passionate tea enthusiast who also loves to read, daydream, travel and watch a plethora of dramas.



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